Shana and I have been married for three years now and a couple for going on six years. Who knows me better than her? Enjoy her insights on the “budding” author and life in general:
Ernie: I didn’t bring my phone out here. How do you feel about that?
Shana: Is this a serious question?
Ernie: There’s a Royals game going on, and I didn’t bring it.
Shana: I’m happy about the sentiment. You’re asking me questions about your blog, so of course you’re going to be involved. I mean, that’s the reality of it. Plus, you just had a soccer game on in there. The Royals game doesn’t seem to be that big a thing to you tonight.
[Hey, the United States national team was in the semifinals against the best team in the world (Argentina)]
Ernie: What was the first thing you noticed about me before we started dating?
Shana: Your intelligence, as shown through your posts on Facebook before we started dating.
Ernie: So it wasn’t my looks?
Shana: No, but we’ve talked about that before. It’s never about looks. Well, I should never say never. Some people might be very attractive or odd-looking, but typically it’s not … it doesn’t mean anything.
Ernie: What did you think when you saw me for the first time on our first date?
Shana: You’re asking a lot of memory questions. That’s not my forte. I remember thinking that I was happy you were there and we were making this happen. I was nervous and excited.
Ernie: What do you remember about our first date?
Shana: We watched basketball. We ate soup from whole foods, I think. I don’t remember what kind, but I bet you do. [I had tomato, she had chicken tortilla] We played Battleship.
Ernie: How many of the games did you win that night?
Shana: Probably none, which was only because you like to cheat.
[I do, but this was just an ass-kicking]
Ernie: What do I do that annoys you?
Shana: Two major things. One, which obviously you’re learning a lesson in, is pushing yourself too far. It affects you negatively and affects the rest of us. Two, sometimes you’re not in the moment, in your phone, not attached to the moment. Usually, it’s some Internet-based thing.
Ernie: Sorry, I’m on Twitter, what did you say?
Shana: Very funny.
Ernie: What about me do you adore?
Shana: I adore the way that you do little things to make me feel special, and I adore that doing that is really important to you. I adore the way that you love the children. You’re intelligent. It’s sexy to be intelligent. It’s sexy to have your shit together. It’s sexy to make financial goals and figure out ways to make it happen. Those things are important to me.
Ernie: What are some of those little things?
Shana: The way you make my coffee every morning, telling me we’ve been together 1,991 days before we go to sleep. The way you sometimes you look at me and tell me I look beautiful. I’m sure there are 1,000 other things.
Ernie: What’s it like to be with me when I’m driving?
Shana: At least you’re not texting anymore; that’s a good thing. It’s not that you drive too fast for the speed limit, which you do. It’s that you drive too fast for the circumstances. You get very pissed off with people, but I do, too.
Ernie: How do you account for the fact that you’ve been in several wrecks and I have not been in any since we started dating?
Shana: Actually, every single accident has been due to someone else. But, that is ironic.
Ernie: Do you remember the moment when you realized you loved me?
Shana: No. What I do remember the battle going on in my mind on whether me getting involved in another committed relationship like that was a good idea.
Ernie: How did you get over that?
Shana: It was you. You just kind of kept showing up … I mean that in a good way. I mean physically in front of me, with your attention, your honesty, love for me, you kept being you, and after a while I thought “Well, why shouldn’t it be OK?”
Ernie: You’re very healthy, and I really was not when we started dating. Why did you ask me out anyway?
Shana: I don’t consider myself that healthy. I consider myself work in progress. You were making very determined steps to better yourself in a lot of different ways. That’s all I needed, was your sign of commitment. I knew everything else would fall in place.
Ernie: How did your mom (my mentor) and sister (a good friend) react when you told them we were dating?
Shana: They kind of both said something to the effect of “Ernie? Like Ernie Webb?” Like they were shocked. It wasn’t on anybody’s radar. I think they were shocked because they didn’t know how we became friends. I think my mom, of course, knew you best. One of the first things she said was “He’s a Republican, you know.” But you didn’t act like a Republican.
Ernie: What does a Republican act like?
Shana: I am quite liberal. My beliefs do not lie in politics; they lie in the believe that freedom is freedom for everyone. We all should have certain rights. People aren’t left out because of race, sexual preference, because they weren’t born in the United States. To answer your question, most Republicans are quite conservative. You didn’t strike me as that conservative.
Ernie: You know I’m moderate and conservative in some ways, though.
Shana: It’s clear to me we don’t see eye-to-eye on many things.
Ernie: You must really like that coffee I make every morning.
Shana: You have a loving heart, and that makes a difference. I can’t make you recycle, or make you want to take in teenagers who have been thrown out of house by parents. I can’t make you give your money or time to people who are down on their luck, but you do. You can call yourself moderate, but we hit a balance that works well. … I did not protest Pat Robertson like I said was going to when you worked at Washburn and he was there.
[We would have been living in a van down by the river if she had.]
Ernie: What did you think the first time you watched a Missouri-Kansas basketball game with me?
Shana: That’s really specific. You’d warned me, so I was expecting it. They are cocky, so I halfway can’t blame you. I can’t say whether it was Kansas game or not, but letting a silly game ruin your whole day seems like a waste to me.
Ernie: Do I get more angry during Missouri games or Royals games?
Shana: It depends. If you have hopes and dreams set on a team, that’s one you get more aggravated about. Last year, you’d given up on Missouri, so you were chill. That was nice. This year, you got really pissed with the Royals. You’ve been a little bit better at just letting it ride, though. The worst I’ve ever seen you act was after Missouri games.
Ernie: What do you mean?
Shana: Remember that one time they lost and you were so mad you left the house and drove around for a while?
Ernie: That was the last Missouri-Kansas game when they got screwed.
Shana: I don’t remember details like you do, but I do remember you were absolutely furious.
Ernie: What’s the most angry you’ve ever been at me?
Shana: The angriest I’ve been with you was one of our first decent-sized fights. It was the one where I finally went over to you and said “This is bullshit.” I was really pissed at you. You wouldn’t talk it out, and I was really angry.
Ernie: That was our first fight.
Shana: I felt like you weren’t listening.
Ernie: How would describe my relationship with the cats (We have two, Cookie and Sunday)?
Shana: You’re kind of like a cat with them. You’re as moody as they are with them. You love them one minute, you want nothing to do with them another minute, sometimes you just give them shit for no reason. That’s basically how they act. But I know you’d miss them if they were gone.
[ It’s true, I would]
Ernie: How would you describe my relationship with the kids?
Shana: Good, but challenged. Both of us are in that spot. I think you do your best and I think you do a good job.
Ernie: How did your mom react when you told her I was moving in?
Shana: Her first reaction was concern for kids because she’s a little more traditional.
Ernie: That’s very Republican of her.
Shana: It kind of is. She relaxed when I reminded here that this was the way it was going to be. I didn’t think marriage was going to happen, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be in a relationship. I wasn’t going to let anything hurt the kids in any way. I certainly wasn’t going to take somebody moving in lightly. After she realized that, she was kind of happy I wasn’t going to get married again.
Ernie: She was pretty pissed when I asked her and your father if I could ask you to marry me.
Shana: We’d been through a lot getting that divorce. It was really, really hard. It was definitely just as hard on her as it was on me. She took it all very personally.
Ernie: What are some of my favorite movies?
Shana: Any of the “Rocky” movies, except for one of them [“Rocky V” is a disaster], “Karate Kid” …
Ernie: It’s a classic.
Shana: It’s not a classic. “Predator.” I’m pretty sure we’ve seen “Rambo” several times. I think you have other dramas, but they don’t show up on TV as often.
Ernie: You’re missing a big one.
Shana: “Rocky,” “Karate Kid.” You don’t consider “Rocky” a drama, do you? [No]. You’re going to tell me and I’m going to be like “Ah man.” My brain doesn’t work like yours.
Ernie: “Shawshank Redemption.”
Shana: Oh, well, yeah.
Ernie: What’s your reaction when I’m flipping through channels and “Karate Kid” or “Rocky” is on the guide?
[Audible sigh. Hilariously, “Karate Kid” and “Predator” were on at the same time the next night]
Shana: I know my chances of watching something decent are gone.
Ernie: Why do you hate those movies so much?
Shana: Because the plots are so stupid.
Ernie: Are you trying to say Rocky didn’t end the Cold War?
Shana: Yeah, pretty much.